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Teenage Caveman

USA 1958
produced by
Roger Corman, Samuel Z. Arkoff (executive), James H. Nicholson (executive) for Malibu Productions, AIP
directed by Roger Corman
starring Robert Vaughn, Darah Marshall, Leslie Bradley, Frank DeKova, Charles P.Thompson, June Jocelyn, Jonathan Haze, Beach Dickerson, Ed Nelson, Robert Shayne, Marshal Bradford, Joseph Hamilton
written by R.Wright Campbell, music by Albert Glasser

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A prehistoric tribe lives in a barren land, when right across the river there is vegetation aplenty, and there are animals to hunt aplenty - yet the law forbids to cross the river, because a God is said to live there whose touch is lethal. Most of the tribe accept this law, but a young man (Robert Vaughn) begs to disagree. And even though it's against all that's holy to the tribe, the young man one day crosses the river, and hunts and lives there for a while, even - until one day, he runs into a monster, apparently the God everyone was talking about. He flees in panic, but is knocked out when he runs into a low branch. Interestingly, the monster/God does nothing to attack him.

The boy's father, the symbol maker (Leslie Bradley), comes after the boy to drag him back to the tribe. Once back, a black-bearded conspirator tries to use the incident for his own good, tries to have the boy executed and the symbol maker removed from his duties. He succeeds in the latter, and becomes the new symbol maker, but fails in the former.

One day, a stranger (Beach Dickerson) riding on a horse from across the river approaches the tribe's village, and while the boy and his father want to welcome him, the black-bearded one has him killed, which to an extent breaks his hold over the tribe.

The stranger from across the river has fascinated the boy, so he decides to cross the river again. When his father hears about this, he follows his son to drag him back once more. This again doesn't go unnoticed by the black-bearded one, who sees this as a good opportunity to get rid of both of them for good, so he gathers a few trusted men to follow the boy and his father.

Across the river, the boy runs into the monster/God once again, but seeing it means no harm, he tries to establish contact with it. When his father sees this, he just watches in awe, as do the black-bearded's men, only the black bearded himself is still hell-bent to pull through his own plans, so he drops a stone on the monster to kill it, only to be killed by the boy in retaliation immedately afterwards. Then the boy finds out that the monster was not a monster at all but a man in a protective suit, a survivor of the last nuclear war that has bombed earth back into the stone age and resurrected dinosaurs and the like - and if we are to believe this film, the circle stone age-nuclear age-nuclear war-back to stone age has already repeated itself many times since the beginning of earth.

 

This film seems to be little more than a cheap joke, its story is silly, its science fiction elements almost ridiculous, its sets and costumes are very basic even for a stone age flick, its 1950's makeup and hairdoes seem oddly out of place with stone age, the monster suit of the monster/God (that's supposed to be a protective suit) is bottom of the barrel, and the inserted scenes from One Million B.C. and The She-Creature to gloss over (?) the lack of budget don't quite click with the rest of the film.

As said before, this seems to be little more than a cheap joke, but cheap jokes can be pretty funny as well, and if you love trash movies as much as I do, you will probably be greatly entertained, not despite but because of the film's shortcomings.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD